January 19, 2017

A Dog's Purpose ~ The other story

In the hours since I have written my review of the movie A Dog's Purpose a disturbing video has been posted by TMZ regarding the German Shepard (Hercules). How did this happen?
I am not posting the video.
I thought that the American Humane Association has monitors on set to protect the animals in any production?   According to their website:

American Humane monitors over 1,000 productions per year, helping ensure the safety and humane treatment of animal actors. Since 1877, American Humane has been at the forefront of every major advance in protecting animals from abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding human-animal interaction and its role in society.
American Humane advocates for the American values of caring, compassion and hope. Our programs enrich our communities, prevent abuse of animals, and embrace the power of the human-animal bond. American Humane works in association with the American film and TV industry to help ensure the well-being of animal actors and promote the human-animal bond. They are on the set to protect animal actors.
*****As of 1pm EST January 19th there is no official press release on their site regarding this situation.*****
According to TMZ The AHA has since announced the suspension of the representative who was on set during the film

 I'd like to bring up a couple of other concerns.
1. This movie was shot in 2015.  If the person who recorded this video was truly concerned about the safety and treatment of animals why did they take so long to report what they saw?
2. The comments heard on the video aren't attributed to anyone but if they're from the person making the recording then we have another problem as those comments are most definitely not expressing any concern for the dog~ why isn't that person identified since?
3. I'm sorry to say but to me it feels like the video was released to TMZ for financial gain ~ how much did TMZ pay for this?  Let me say again I find the video disturbing!
4. Winnipeg Humane Society said it was contacted regarding two scenes in the movie but not the one shown.  Why wouldn't they the inquire about the entire movie instead of relying on an outside agency (AHA)?
5. When actually did TMZ receive this video? I've looked and can't find that info.  Did they hold it until the movie was released for screening?  Sadly, that wouldn't surprise me.

     I have no clue how animals are trained for performances, I'm sure there's a number of rough moments when they're learning difficult routines or tricks.  These few moments watching a distressed animal was heart breaking.  What we don't know is what happened afterward.  I'm not passing over what we saw I'm just saying we don't know the entire story.  Was Hercules removed from the set, was he replaced with a different dog?

Massive Kudos to Josh Gad who immediately expressed on Twitter his concerns and shock after learning of the video :   Josh later shared that he inquired after Hercules and was assured he's wonderful, healthy and happy.

I am quite relieved that my review of the movie advised against seeing it
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